Burger Ordered: The db Burger Royale
The Experience: In week two of Burger Weekly’s Daniel Boulud series, we take things up a couple thousand notches and indulge in the most famous of New York’s crazy expensive hamburgers. db Bistro Moderne’s burger offerings fall into three price points: The Original db Burger is currently $32 and is a sirloin burger filled with braised short ribs, foie gras, and black truffle, served on a parmesan bun. Throw a layer of shaved black truffles on that bad boy and you’ve got the db Burger Royale, clocking in at $70. Add a second layer and the price jumps up to a whopping $140. The Burgermeisters are crazy, but not ridiculously crazy, so they only spoiled themselves with the $70 burger. The Taste: Before getting to the burger, the Burgermeisters learned that when you eat at db Bistro Moderne, more than a few calories come your way before the main course. After quickly devouring a few pretzel bread sticks, the meal proper began with the Oliviers Alsatian tarte flambée, topped with bacon, onion, and white cheese (fromage blanc, ooh lala). It was tasty and light enough that nobody was too full by the time the main course arrived.
The db Burger Royale is a small bit of intense business. It comes sided by pommes souffléets; essentially french fries that are puffed up with air (think of them as tiny potato popovers). They didn’t taste much different than fries, but they were definitely fun to eat. The burger being thick and tall, it is difficult to find a classy and clean way to take a first bite. The Burgermeisters were never all that good at class, so they went at the burger from various angles, making a bit of a mess.
Though the pommes soufflées came with ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, none of those condiments were allowed anywhere near the burger. The foie gras, nestled in the center of the sirloin wrapped prime rib, makes this a rich and unique take on the juicy lucy. The burger is perfectly balanced and cooked medium rare, a feat that must be difficult given the different cuts of meat in the patty. The layer of black truffle was delectable, but the Burgermeisters are sure that many will be flabbergasted that such a small ingredient could increase the price of this meal so much.
The meal ended with a double serving of delicious dessert; the Creamsicle, made of citrus budino, vanilla custard, and buttermilk sherbet, and a complimentary birthday dessert that turned out to be a unique take on bread pudding and ice cream. Both desserts were incredible and left the Burgermeisters stuffed and in need of nothing else in the world.
The Verdict: This one should be filed in the special-occasion-only folder. The food at db Bistro Moderne is out of this world, but the price tag is just as far-out as the taste. With Valentine’s Day coming up, you would do well to take that special someone for a db Burger Royale.
db Bistro Moderne is located at 55 West 44th Street in Manhattan, New York.